The State Department reported the expiration of an ultimatum imposed on the government of Fiji for the US Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle shot down over the island state. The incident occurred on July 1 during a scheduled control flight. The drone completed the survey and was supposed to return to the base with information, but disappeared from the radar.
George Morkley, Commander-in-Chief of US Air Force forces in Australia and Oceania, turned to his Fijian counterpart, Maranimoto Chuvakaapaarisawa, demanding the return of the crashed drone, but received an answer that the republic lacked air defense forces and either the device itself was out of order or was hit by local amateur electronic warfare. Later it turned out that the drone fell after a shot from one of the wild island tribes, who probably took the device for a bird. Arriving at the scene, the soldiers of the national army of Fiji saw a bird dying in the fire. All peripetias were reported to the American side, but the Pentagon found this version of events unconvincing and was given a period of 5 days to return the unmanned vehicle. The Fijian side could not fulfill the requirements of Washington.
Economic and political sanctions were imposed against the leadership of the island state. All government accounts in American banks are blocked, and Fiji’s cabinet ministers are barred from entering the United States.
“We see another puppet government of the Kremlin. Our UAVs are invulnerable and it is almost impossible to knock them down; at least, you need to have powerful air defense systems, and only Russia could provide them to this poor country, ”said US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.